AVA, Mo. - Trappist monks in southwest Missouri say their holiday fruitcake business will continue to support their monastery despite the dwindling numbers of monks.
The monks at Assumption Abbey produce about 25,000 fruitcakes a year that are sold across the country and allow the monks to live out their relatively solitary lives of up-before-dawn work and prayer. The abbey produces 125 cakes a day, five days a week from February through mid-December.
Spokesman Brother Francis Flaherty told The Springfield News-Leader there are now only five Trappist monks who live at the 3,400-acre monastery compound. The youngest monk is 56, Flaherty is 72, and the other three are in their 80s.
Flaherty said four Trappist monks will join the abbey from a monastery in Vietnam next year, and the monks also get help with baking the fruitcakes from a small group of Franciscan friars and hermits who live at the monastery.
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